Community Engagement Officers Checking on Schools In Wake of Texas Shooting

Montgomery County Police officers will be checking on schools after Tuesday’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary School in which 19 children and two adults were killed. 

“Closer to home, Montgomery County Police are making continuous checks on our schools with Community Engagement Officers (CEOs) in the wake of the violence in Texas,” County Executive Marc Elrich said during a media briefing Wednesday.

“In light of today’s tragedy in Texas, MCP Community Engagement Officers will be continuously checking on our schools to ensure the safety of our students,” the police department wrote online Tuesday night. “We extend our sympathies to all those affected in Uvalde, Texas.”

Elrich said there is no evidence that having police in schools necessarily prevents gun violence, however he believes having CEOs check on schools is the appropriate response in the wake of the tragedy in Texas in case of copycat incidents. 

“We all know that copycat incidents are an issue, where somebody decides they want to do what somebody else did,” Elrich said. 

“So, I think they’re doing the right thing. It doesn’t bother me that they’re checking in schools. I’m glad they’re paying more attention to schools under the circumstances.”

Last August, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) leaders announced that instead of having School Resource Officers (SROs), CEOs would be assigned to school clusters. They are not stationed inside the school building or on campus but are stationed in surrounding neighborhoods outside the school. But, incidents of violence this academic year, including the January school shooting at Magruder High that critically injured a 15-year-old student, prompted officials to establish an updated officer model, called the “CEO 2.0 Program.”

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